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I rank another amendment to the Constitution, which reminded me of how popular I was in college.
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We continue the Year Three Series of Ranking the amendments to the United States Constitution, with number 26 - one better than 27, which was pretty bad.
Say hello to the 20th Amendment to the Constitution!
Let’s dive in!
26: Amendment XX
Its purpose: Moved the beginning and end of terms of the president and vice president from March 4 to January 20. It also moved the terms of Congress from March 4 to January 3.
Year proposed: 1932
Year Ratified: 1933
Having the new Congress in place before the executive office helps correct the stupid Electoral College if the presidential election in the previous year was tied as it was in 1800 and 1824.
Doesn’t it seem that our entire system of government appears to be based on the Electoral College? Seriously, thanks, Alexander Hamilton.
More importantly, it also reduced the lame-duck session of elected officials who resigned, retired, lost, or wouldn’t return because they were dead.
There are six sections of this amendment. It’s quite long and tries to resolve something that, to me, is pretty straightforward, but then it throws in all of these scenarios that deal with death because it also deals with succession.
Check out the highlighted below in Section 3.
I can write some run-on sentences, but this one is a doozy. The word qualified is used four times. Who is the editor on this thing? As someone who needs an editor, I can tell when one is required. Don’t at me on this, @MDDake. I don’t need you piling on.
The Constitution can be confusing, and this amendment clears some things up. In Article 1, Section 4, Clause 2, Congress had to meet at least once a year in December, right after November’s election, and this meant long periods when the new administration couldn’t deal with things like when states wanted to leave the Union so that they could enslave people.
Case in point. Abraham Lincoln was elected in November 1860, and South Carolina seceded in December 1860. By the time he took office from James Buchanan in March 1861, the entire Southeastern Football Conference (SEC! SEC! SEC!) had seceded (Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas). This time it wasn’t for a better TV deal.
What a mess Abe walked into and had to wait to fix it.
Who proposed it?
Senator George Norris of Nebraska.
Norris was born in Ohio on July 11, 1861. On the same day, about 300 to the southeast, General George McClellan fought his last winning battle of the Civil War in the Battle of Rich Mountain. The Union secured the territory, and the ultimate outcome was the state of West Virginia two years later.
Norris moved to Nebraska at some point in his life, I have no idea when, but he became a Senator in 1913, some years after being a House Representative.
Norris was a Republican with liberal and progressive viewpoints. He spent most of his time voting against Republican administrations, like Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, which earned him the nickname “sons of the wild jackass.” Nice, fellas.
I once did a one-person play on Al Smith, the first Roman Catholic nominated for president from a major party, in a performance studies class during my junior year in college. It was a great mix of everything I enjoy - faith, politics, and history. Now I don’t remember a word of it and lost the script. However, I’m confident I told all the ladies when at the bar about how brilliant it was. I was incredibly popular in college with my Al Smith anecdotes while at the same thing being ignorant of things, like not knowing what the word pensive meant. I was mysterious, which got numerous women to drive me in their cars on dates.
I miss those days. Anonymous rarely drives me anywhere.
One last note on Norris. He’s also known for the Norris- La Guardia Act passed in 1932. It’s also called the Anti-Junction Act, which prevents the courts from issuing an injunction on labor disputes and provides union workers the right not to be bullied by their employer not to join a union.
There’s a play called Injunction Granted, and it mentions when the Norris -La Guardia Act was passed, which would have meant injunction was NOT granted. Sounds like a play only I could love.
Why did I rank it here?
I’m surprised it took so long to change, but another crisis prompted the circumstances. This time it was the Great Depression, and the amendment wasn’t ratified in time for the change, which put us behind, thanks to Herbert Hoover. It’s not as bad as the 18th Amendment, but not that great, either. At least when compared to others.
Okay, we have finished two amendment rankings, and I added the Who Proposed It section.
What do you think? Is there anything that you would like me to add? Beginning with the next ranking, I’m implementing a poll that I hope will be fun. Let me know in the comments. Thanks!
Another busy weekend is coming up. I’ll have to give our dog, Blue, a bath. There’s no way I can change the date on this. Also, don’t forget that we spring forward on Monday, which means we lose an hour.
Before I forget, if you have any questions about anything, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always looking for interesting topics to handle.
I’ll be back on Monday, and until then, may your college win as many basketball games as you care for.